FAQs by livestock

Temporary confinement of organic animals is allowed for specific reasons. These reasons are described in §205.239. All periods of confinement must be documented. Confinement records will be reviewed at annual inspections.

No, specific details about space requirements are not regulated at this point in time. The living conditions you provide must accommodate the health and natural behavior of the animals and include year-round access to the outdoors, exercise areas, fresh air, direct sunlight, shade, and shelter. Appropriate clean, dry bedding must be provided, and any shelter provided must be constructed to... Read more

Certification of animals depends on many factors, including your recordkeeping system and the history of the land on which you manage animals. In some cases, CCOF can certify young animals that you currently manage when complete records are available to demonstrate continuous organic management. The final determination about whether animals can be certified will be... Read more

Yes, our clients can transfer parcels, in the certification program, between CCOF certified operations without having to reapply. Simply complete the parcel transfer form and return it to us for each parcel transferred. You will be billed for the service at the time of submission. Parcel transfers must be submitted within one month of change in management and there must be continuous organic... Read more

Yes! The use of compost is encouraged. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) both maintain lists of approved compost suppliers. You can also use MyCCOF: Materials Search to find and add materials approved for use in organic production or to request the review of a material you would like to use.

Manure-based composts must... Read more

No, you cannot use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock. You may use treated lumber on parts of your property that are not included in your certification or in areas where the lumber will not contact soil or livestock.

Seeds treated with prohibited materials are not allowed. Look to the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) lists of allowed materials to find seed treatments that are approved. Our staff will verify compliance of any seed treatments not on the OMRI or WSDA lists for you. Just complete and submit a Material Review Request Form for... Read more

Dairy operations may transition non-certified livestock to organic by managing animals organically for one year. This is a one-time allowance for an entire, distinct herd. All other livestock, excluding poultry, must be managed organically starting no later than the last third of gestation to qualify for organic certification. Poultry must be managed organically starting no later than the 2nd... Read more

The following individuals and businesses operating in the state of California must annually register with the State Organic Program:

Every person engaged in the production, handling, or processing of raw agricultural products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the production of products sold as organic Retailers that are engaged in the processing, as defined by the NOP, of... Read more

Ruminant animals are required to graze pasture anytime during the year that pasture is available for grazing. If pasture is not available for at least 120 days per year, the ruminants cannot be certified organic. Organic standards also require that animals obtain a certain percentage of their daily diet, or ration, from pasture. Grazing must provide at least 30% of an organic ruminant’s total... Read more

Most materials containing inert ingredients do not specify which list these ingredients are on. Organic production allows only EPA List 4 synthetic inerts in pesticides. Verification from the manufacturer that synthetic inert ingredients, contained in pesticides, are on List 4 is needed to demonstrate compliance. Often times manufacturers are unwilling to disclose the identity of inerts, but... Read more

No, it is possible to manage a “split” operation, meaning that some animals are managed organically while others are not. It is important to make sure that the organic animals are easily identifiable, organic feeds are not commingled with non-organic feeds, and that you keep records of all farm activities, including both the organic and non-organic portions.... Read more

For crops other than sprouts, organic seed must be used unless organic versions are not commercially available. Growers are required to search for organic seed and must document this search in order to demonstrate that organic seed was not commercially available. This documentation may be in the form of a log showing calls made, product/supplier catalogues, letters received, or other... Read more

Under the NOP there are specific requirements for the use of raw manure.

Raw animal manure must be composted unless it is:

Applied to land used for a crop not intended for human consumption. Incorporated into the soil no less than 120 days prior to the harvest of a product whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles (such as lettuce). Incorporated... Read more

The NOP regulations do not have specific prescriptive requirements regarding distance for buffering your organic crop from potential contaminants. Prior to implementation of the NOP, 25 feet was used as a baseline for appropriate buffers. CCOF still uses this as a threshold of concern to guide our decision making process along with other mitigating factors such as physical barriers and... Read more

A ruminant is a mammal that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud , and chewing it again. The process of re-chewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called "ruminating." There are about 150... Read more

Organic operations must keep records of all activities and transactions. Such records may include:

Input Records: Planting of seeds and applications of fertilizers or other materials must be documented. Animal Origin or Birth Records: Birth records must link organic calves to breeder stock and include birth dates or approximate birth dates. Medical Treatment Records: Treatments must be... Read more

An amendment to an existing registration is required when an operation has one or more of the following changes to their registration:

Addition of new facilities or growing locations in California Change of ownership Addition of production acreage A  change/addition of operation type(s).

A registrant shall notify the Department of any change in the information reported on the... Read more

The National Organic Standards delineate the requirements for certifying livestock beginning at section 205.236. CCOF also provides links to variety of information sources on our certification Support Resources page.

Visit our Organic Seed Resources page for details on seed requirements or our list of seed suppliers who carry organic seed.

Your diligence in sourcing organic seed helps to strengthen the organic seed sector.

Crops intended for human consumption and whose edible portion has direct contact with the soil surface or soil particles require a 120 day pre-harvest interval (PHI). A 90 day PHI is required for those crops whose edible portion does not come in contact with soil particles (i.e. orchard fruit). How the crop is grown and harvested with regards to soil contact will determine which pre-harvest... Read more